Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Birthday Week!

First off, sorry for all the pictures. They´re from the last couple of weeks...haha....

So this week has been super great. I can´t really remember a lot. I know that I´ve been speaking a lot, both english and a LOT of spanish...a lot of translating! haha I love it! Hermana Jensen is doing fantastic! We´re working hard, and trying our very best to be exactly obedient! 

We had zone conference this week, which was really good. We learned more about how to use the book of mormon in our teaching and contacting. I love the Book of Mormon and I KNOW that it is true! Every time I read from it I gain a stronger and stronger testimony of it, so I definitly invite you all to read every day from the Libro de Mormon and enjoy the blessings that you´ll recieve! 

Yesterday was a good day! We arrived at church and Leiby and Eugeni were already there! And we arrived very early! They were sitting there reading their Book of Mormon and it made my heart so happy! Then we went to go visit them at night. I can´t remember how much I´ve told you about them,
but Leiby is like 29 years old and she is ¨married¨ really like her boyfriend to an inactive member. Her son is Eugeni and he is 9. We have been working with them and I love them so much! They are preparing to be baptized. After we taught them the lesson, Leiby left the room and came back with a cake with candles on top for my birthday! Then they threw confetti all over us! haha It was fun and something very, very unexpected. They´re progressing so well! They are really delving into the LDM and they are able to tell us the whole story of Lehi and his family! It makes my heart leap with joy. Moments like that are what I live for in the mission!

I love being a representative of Jesus Christ and I know that Heavenly Father loves you all so much! There is no where else I´d rather be spending my 20th birthday than here being a missionary! Les Quiero mucho! 

Hermana Lawrence

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Great Week!

Hermana Lawrence and Hermana Jensen

This has been a pretty neat week! On Tuesday we had the nerve racking meeting where president assigned us to our trainees!  I received my new companion! Hermana Jensen from American Fork, Utah! She is 20 years old, and she is super cute! We get along really well! We both really like the movie Little Women, so that's cool! Its been different having two more Hermanas' in the house. In fact, we just barely unpacked today because we couldn't decide how we were all going to share the space! haha I was telling Hermana Smith that the house was dingy and dark, so she brought us a fun rug and a vase of silk flowers to make the house more fun, and it really did make a difference! She's great!

Legna is progressing so well! We went and taught her twice this week. The lessons were so amazing. The spirit was so strong! She started crying when we talked about how families can be together forever. There was such a calm feeling. The second time we went we invited her to be baptized. She told us that she had some doubts that she needed to sort out before she made such a big decision. We invited her to pray and read the book of Mormon. On Sunday at church she was telling us after we had left she was praying and thinking a lot. Her friend came to her house and saw the book of Mormon open on her table. She started going off at Legna saying that she was crazy and she didn't know what she was getting herself into and not to investigate with us. But she told her friend that she was so happy with us and that her house, after we left, felt different. There was a peace and she got goosebumps thinking about everything we had taught her. And that actually she didn't have doubts, she just doesn't want to let Heavenly Father down.  Right now she is preparing for the 16th of September to be baptized! 

Hna. Smith, Jensen, Lawrence and Pres. Smith
I got a call from the assistants on Thursday night telling us that we had a special invitation to have a meeting with Elder (or President....?) Gonzales....WHAT? So Friday morning Hna Jensen and I went to the office and we got to be in a special training for our mission. It was the assistants, The finance elders, the secretary elders, President and Hna Smith and Hermana and Pte Gonzales. And Us. It was amazing. They told us that they are trying a new concept in introducing the Book of Mormon to people while contacting on the street, and so we got to be there to hear and learn the new way! It was a little nerve racking when Pte Gonzales asked me to try it out in front of him...haha. But it was a really cool, unforgetable experience!

Last night we went to Leiby and Eugeni to teach them. They fed us dinner (dominican spagetti with avacado and tostones) and we talked about the Book of Mormon. It was great! Eugeni read in his book of mormon and highlighted a bunch of stuff. He is the cutest little boy! The two of them are preparing to be baptized. 

I know that Heavenly Father loves every single one of you. I love you all too! Have the greatest week ever!

Hermana Lawrence

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Crazy, Emotional week

So this was an incredibly crazy, emotional week! Hermana Arciniega ended up going home early on Friday morning. The doctors gave her a medical release. She told me that she felt good about her decision and that she´s happy. I´m glad that she feels good. It was hard sending a companion home early...but the way it happened I don´t feel like it was a terrible thing for her. Love her! So since she left early on Friday, Thursday night Hna Ferrer came to Gazcue to be with me until tommorrow (she was in a trio so she just left her other two companions in her new area). We have been staying in a different apartment because instead of choosing to move us from the house we were in, they are fumigating it really well. Well enough that we couldn´t stay there. So I actually had to pack up all my stuff along with hna arciniega and now I´ll be moving back into the Gazcue house with my NEW COMPANION AND TWO MORE. That´s right, people. There´s going to be four hermanas in Gazcue! I´ll be in Gazcue A with a NEW MISSIONARY. I´m training! And Hermana Chamu (one of my old companions) and Hermana Mendez will be in Gazcue B. I´m also going to be the Hermana Leader with Hermana Chamu. Getting the call from president on Saturday made me kinda nervous....and thinking about the responsibility I´m about to take on makes me even more nervous. I´m going to have to show the area of Gazcue to 3 new people, while training and being an hermana leader. I am excited for this new transfer that is going to start tomorrow, though!  

Yesterday in church we had a cool experience. There was a woman there that we had never seen at church before. So obviously we went and talked to her. She just moved here a month ago from Venezuela. Two different friends of hers told her to go to the mormon church, so she showed up. In sunday school the topic was The Word of Wisdom. She then shared with the class that when she was 20 years old she was investigating the church but as soon as she learned she couldn´t drink coffee she stopped because she was addicted to coffee. Now, 15 years later this was the first time that she came to church and we talked about how we can´t drink coffee. She told us that God is giving her a sign...haha. Her name is Legna. We have a cita to go visit her in this week, so I´m excited! The day was going pretty well yesterday...we had lunch with a member (sancocho) and ate ice cream! There were also some other really good lessons that we had (some little kids gave us stuffed animals because they love us so much!) and they day was going really well. We were on our way to go see Fania, our only baptismal fecha, and I was telling Hna Ferrer about how the day could not get worse.
I really think Heavenly Father has a good sense of humor, because we got to fania, and her cousin (member, who she lives with) told us that Fania had packed up everything and left. She doesn´t know where she went, but she thinks she ran away to Haiti....My heart sunk. I felt really discouraged after that. They are dividing the area and the only fecha we had fell. I was thinking why...and the only thing I could think was that there are MIRACLES that are going to happen in the next couple of weeks. I´m excited to see all of them.

Love you all so much! Have the most splendid week ever!
Hermana Lawrence

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Home bound and bed bugs :-(

This week was very interesting. And at this point next week I have no idea who will be my companion, where I´ll be, or anything. The week started with my companion telling me she was too sick to leave the house. Obviously I tried to get her to leave, but nothing was working, maybe she really was sick. Things happened and so the next day she had an interview with Pte Smith where she told him that she wants to go home. Before this point she didn´t want to go home. We went to the doctor, they gave her a million and two drugs and she still didn´t feel better. Right now we are waiting for a response from Pte on whether or not they´re sending her home or not. So this week has been a little stressful. Especially because the majority of it was spent in the house. When you have ¨sick days¨on the mission, you kind of get incredibly bored. I read a lot of the Book of Mormon, practically every Liahona we have in the house, I cleaned the house 10 times, and drew some funny drawings for my companion...haha. What makes it worse is that on Wednesday morning (at like 3 in the morning) Hna Arciniega woke me up and said we had bed not only were we stuck in our house...we were stuck in our house with bed bugs and cockroches... It was splendid. That´s why I cleaned so much. hopefully I got rid of them! On wednesday night we sleped at a different house in the mission that has air conditioning. It was the first time in 10ish months that I have slept with air conditioning....and i FROZE. I never thought I would wake up so many times during the night because I was freezing. haha Interesting how things change. Luckily it was only one night! 

Since we were unable to proselyte this week, I was getting worried about our investigators. I was calling them like crazy! Haha I was also praying that it wouldn´t effect the progress of Gazcue. I was literally praying for a miracle. I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers! Because He did mine! We had 8 investigators at church! Four of which was a family that showed up because their friend told them to check out the ¨mormon church¨ (thank you friend...) The mom´s name is Alba and then there are her three children Yohshua (9), Wiliagnny (10), and Abigail (15). They´re the cutest! They absolutely loved church! All the members were going crazy when they showed up. They´re already members in my mind! I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven that knows our desires and knows personally! Heavenly Father even answered my prayers when I got a call Sunday night from Hna Jones telling me that Noelia, Yoly, and Fraili got BAPTIZED! That´s right! All three of them are a miracle! They were people that I was teaching up there, and they all got baptized! If you remember me talking about Fraili, it really is a miracle! haha Yesterday, with a lot of persuasion, we were able to go see one investigator, Leiby. She accepted to be baptized! WHOOO! And her Son, Eugeni,  as well! They still don´t have a fecha, but they will soon. 

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a representative of Him. I know that HE Lives!

Hope you all have the most fantastic week EVVEEERRR.

Les Quiero!
Hermana Lawrence

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Storms and Rainbows!

Hola! This has been....a week. Probably one of the hardest...if not THE hardest of my whole mission. I´ve cried, i´ve been stressed, i've had people say some pretty terrible things to me, i´ve been tired, I´ve felt like a terrible person, but I have learned so much. I´ve learned to fully rely on Heavenly Father and I´ve been striving to become more like Christ and do what he would do. I think we all always want to do what Christ would do, but this past week I think I can understand and put into practice a little better Christ-Like qualities. During my personal study one of those days I read in "Our Search for Happiness" because I thought, "well, I need happiness..." I read a part that really impacted me. It says "The best thing about living a Christ-centered life, however, is how it makes you feel. It's hard to have a negative attitude about things if and when your life is focused on the Prince of Peace. There will still be problems. Everyone has them. But faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a power to be reckoned with in the universe and in individual lives. It can be a causitive force through which miracles are wrough. It can also be a source of inner strenght though which we find self-esteen, peace of mind, contentment, and the courage to cope." I decided that I needed to have a more Christ-centered life. I'm still working on it, believe me, it's not the easiest to always be perfect (actually, it's imposible) but I am learning more and more each day. I have had a song stuck in my head ALL week long. "El Amor del Salvador" or in english "Our Savior's Love." It talks about how the spirit is our guide in afflictions and gives us hope when we have doubts and fears and brings us closer to God. I am grateful for the spirit! I have felt peace, my Saviors love and hope this past week as well. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers.

Even though this was a hard week, there's still some highlights...haha. We were able to do a cosecha in Capotillo. The bishop came up to us and told us he hadn't seen Hermanas in that area in 30 years! Apparently it's pretty dangerous, but I didn't notice anything. We met a menos activo family where not all of them are members and put a baptismal date with one of them! I hope I'll be able to go up there to see him get baptized! It's always cool to meet new people! It's one of my favorite parts of the mission! 

I got to go back to MENDOZA! (my first area) Hna Arciniega asked for permission to go to the noche blanca that Oriental had because she had a convert she taught get baptized in the noche blanca. I didn't get to go out to visit people, but I was able to see a couple members...they remembered me. It felt kind of good :) 

Fania is doing well. She now has the baptismal date for the 19th of August. That's when our zone is going to have a noche blanca. Her baby is growing so fast! I'm learning a lot of creole also For example: "Jodia se yon pi bo jou" means today is the best day! :) 

We have found some new investigators this week that are super great. They're already members in my mind. I love being a missionary and I wouldn't change this experience for anything! Even though it was hard, things can only get better and when Satan is working his hardest, we need to work even harder! Love you all and hope that you all have the BEST WEEK EVER.

Hermana Lawrence